PayPal invests in Digital Identity-Focuschain Blockchain Startup in Apparent First

In an apparently first, global online payment firm PayPal has made an investment in a blockchain startup – one that focuses on leveraging technology to give users more control over their digital identity. The news was reported by Forbes on April 2.

The investment comes as part of an extension to a series A financing round in the startup – called Cambridge Blockchain – which raised a total of $ 7 million for the first time in May 2018.

Although neither PayPal nor Cambridge Blockchain has disclosed the size of the payment giant's investment, recent filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Cambridge Blockchain raised $ 3.5 million in new shares in the course of the nine months since May 2018.

According to Forbes, Cambridge Blockchain in May 2018 series A included the participation of the blockchain-focused VC firm Digital Currency Group, the VC arm of Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and tech investment company Partech Ventures.

The $ 3.5 million for the Series A expansion includes a new investment from the self-proclaimed philanthropic investment company Omidyar Network, in addition to PayPal.

Regarding the search from PayPal for blockchain digital identity management, Forbes quotes an unnamed PayPal spokesperson who says:

"We made an investment in Cambridge Blockchain because it applies blockchain to digital identity in a way that we think can benefit from financial service providers, including PayPal."

Cambridge Blockchain has mainly joined major players such as Microsoft, IBM, Mastercard and Accenture to collaborate under the banner of a non-profit organization called the Decentralized Identity Foundation.

Notwithstanding Cambridge Blockchain & # 39; s wide range of blockchain-powered digital identity projects, PayPal will concentrate its exploration of blockchain for financial applications, the spokesperson said further.

According to Forbes, Cambridge Blockchain will use Series A and expansion funding for research and development, as well as expand its workforce in Boston, Paris and Beijing – the latter with a view to developing a number of projects with Foxconn.

Forbes notes that Cambridge Blockchain CEO Matthew Commons worked with PayPal for the first time as part of the jointly hosted accelerator Fintech Europe 2018, which focuses on helping startups struggle with Europe's rigorous data privacy framework – the General Data Protection Regulation.

As previously reported, PayPal co-founder, Luke Nosek, recently noted that the company had initially sought to create a digital currency that would be independent of banks and governments, similar to crypto.

PayPal, whose active number of users in Q3 last year exceeded 254 million, introduced a blockchain-based reward system for its employees in December 2018.

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